Digital Book World has an article from an advocate of the e-book development program Sigil. He compares the application to oXygen and explains in detail why (he believes) Sigil is the better program. His argument seems to rely largely on the fact that Sigil automates the process of editing XML code in ways that oXygen doesn’t, rather like InDesign. And Sigil was recently updated to allow creating EPUB3 files from its native EPUB2.

We’re designers, we’re production people. We have jobs to ship. We want to just draw the damn text frame, or add wrap to an existing text frame, and have the software take care of the coordinates and the offset for us. Why would we choose to waste time hand-coding when it’s an ebook job?

The funny thing to me is that most of the comments on the article are from people saying, “Yes! You should use software that makes it convenient for you to create your e-books! That’s why you should use [SOME OTHER SOFTWARE PACKAGE THAT ISN’T SIGIL] instead!”

Also funny: given that I use Scrivener for writing and compiling e-books, and it works great, I guess I’m just like one of those commenters.

I do agree with what the fellow says toward the end: use whatever works for you, but perhaps you should reconsider and see if some other tool (such as his favorite, Sigil) can make your life easier.

What’s your favorite e-book creation package, and why?


  1. It is said that when all you have is a hammer, all the world is nails. People, myself included, want to use the tools we know rather than learning a new tool that may be better for the job.

    It takes effort to learn a new program. So why not just adapt the program I know?

    Many of us still haven’t gotten the message about separating content from formatting when creating e-books.

    I’ve used Sigil and it is indeed a capable program with a large number of features and great control. It also has a bit of a learning curve.

    I’m currently using Scrivener. It too has a learning curve and a wide range of features. I don’t use nor have I learned a lot of the features I don’t need. Scrivener best fits my whole creation workflow. I will move to another program if I need to do so in the future.

    I keep Sigil on my computer in case I run into something that I can’t handle in Scrivener.

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